Establishing Legal Protection
Victims of domestic violence, assault, harassment and stalking, or other similar crimes often turn to the police to seek help. The police can then help a person ask the court for legal protection. If the court finds reason to believe the victim needs protection, it can issue a protection order. Different protection orders serve different purposes. No-contact orders are fairly common because they provide the victim assurance that the offender will not be able to contact him or her, as opposed to peaceful conduct orders, which only prohibit certain types of conduct or contact. No-contact orders are sometimes called protection orders or restraining orders.
No-contact orders are fairly straightforward in their scope and purpose. They prohibit a restrained person from coming into contact with the protected person. The contact can be physical or verbal. For example, it may prohibit you from coming or attempting to come into physical contact with the person, calling them, emailing or texting them, or even coming within a certain proximity to the protected person. The order will indicate how many feet away the restrained person must be from the protected person at all times. For example, you may be prohibited from coming within 100 meters of the protected person, his or her home, place or work, school, or child's school. A no-contact order can even prohibit you from contacting the family members of the protected person.
A no-contact order may require you to do other things as well. You may also be prohibited from owning or otherwise possessing a firearm or ammunition. If you already own a firearm, you may have to sell it to an authorized dealer or turn it into a local police or sheriff's department. Some departments will allow you to store your firearm at the department for the duration of the order at a cost to you. It could also have provisions regarding the custody of your child, child support, parenting time, and spousal support or alimony. Read it carefully and make sure you know what you are being asked to do.
Why You Need to Be Careful
Having a no-contact order issued doesn't necessarily mean criminal charges are being pressed, but it does make you more vulnerable to that risk. A no-contact order is a serious document. It is a crime to knowingly violate the order, and you could face jail time and fines if you do. That being said, you should also take a no-contact order seriously and follow what it says. Unfortunately, many no-contact orders are extensive in their requirements. It may restrict you in many ways. But, no matter what, you have to adhere to the order. If it prohibits you from contacting the protected person, avoid that person at all costs. Even if the protected person tries to contact you, you have a duty to prevent or immediately end that contact if it does occur. And if you are required to turn in your firearms, make sure you do so and file proof of it with the court within the specified time frame.
Speak with an experienced California criminal defense attorney if you have questions about no-contact orders or restraining orders and the consequences of violating one. Whether you are facing criminal charges or not, you will want to make sure you are aware of all your rights as a restrained person and know what can happen if you violate the order. If you are facing criminal charges, it is all the more important that you adhere to the requirements of the order. A skilled criminal defense attorney can advise you on how to do this. An experienced attorney can also help you face and fight charges before you are convicted. Domestic violence convictions are very serious and carry with them harsh repercussions. Sometimes it is worth it to fight. Consulting with an attorney can give you an idea of what it will take to fight your charges and what rights you can exercise in the process.
If you are in the Visalia, Hanford or Tulare area and have questions about no-contact orders, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens is here to help you. California criminal defense attorney Christopher Martens will work hard to defend your rights and help you fight any charges you may face. Attorney Martens has handled thousands of cases over a span of ten years of criminal defense practice and can fight hard for your rights in court. Contact attorney Christopher Martens for experienced criminal defense counsel today. Contact our office at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.